By Jeremy Ross

Chicago (CBS) — Band members from a suburban high school marching band are expected to return home Wednesday after a trip to the Rose Parade in California had an unexpected twist.

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During the parade, a train-themed float caught fire, and thousands lining the route were stunned by the smoke.

But, the Lincoln-Way marching band, from suburban New Lenox, played through the float fiasco.

“I smelled the smoke and I was like, ‘oh, this caught on fire’,” Madisen Tomaszewski said. “I looked over to the side when we passed the float and I saw this hole in the side of it.”

Toluwa Balogun said the 281 students marching had plenty of practice.

“We’re a good band. We adapt to situations that are serious,” he said.

Months ago, CBS 2 got a glimpse of the hundreds of hours of preparation the band puts in. The cost to fly them out, ship gear and stay in California surpassed $1 million. A portion was paid through fundraising.

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Fortunately, no one was hurt by the fire.

“The rest of the parade went on without a hitch,” Tomaszewski said.

Band members call the march the most memorable they’ll take part in.

“It’s not the memory I expected,” Balogun said.

Tomaszewski said she doesn’t think the fire ruined the trip for her.

“I think it actually made it more memorable because I think later on me and my friends can laugh about the float that caught on fire and how we just kept on marching,” she said.

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The students added they never felt in harm’s way. Hundred of volunteers and first responders acted quickly.